Inmates to Turn Guns from Buyback Program Into Gardening Tools

The New Haven Police Department will be buying back guns Saturday and those guns will be transformed into gardening tools, with help from inmates, and provided to schools to harvest vegetables. 

Once people turn guns in for gift cards, officers will destroy those guns “under the tutelage of a local and renowned sculptor,” Gar Waterman, police said. 

Volunteer members of Connecticut’s prison inmate population will receive the destroyed weapons and Warden Jose Feliciano and staff from the Connecticut Department of Corrections will oversee them as inmates forge the pieces into gardening tools. 

Some of the tools will then be donated to New Haven Public Schools that support agricultural programs, including gardening, and the tools will be used to plant and cultivate vegetable gardens. 

The crops will be harvested and donated to area soup kitchens. 

The New Haven Police Department gun buyback will be at 710 Sherman Parkway in New Haven, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. People turning in working guns will get gift cards for American Express, Stop & Shop, Target, Walmart, Kohl’s or Amazon while supplies last. 

Single and double-shot (Derringer style) handguns will be worth $25; rifles and shotguns will be worth $50; pistols and revolvers (handguns) will be worth $100 and assault weapons (to be determined by New Haven Police) will be worth $200. 

Guns must be delivered unloaded in clear plastic bags and any ammunition must be delivered in a separate bag. The person dropping off the gun will not be charged with illegal possession of that specific firearm, according to police. 

They said no questions will be asked and no identification will be required.

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